Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - April 2011

By Ellen Clary (Copyright 2004-2011)
(reverse date order)

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Sat Apr 30
What a weird day.
I was at an agility trial at Prunedale and Trek did fairly well.  Got her first Steeplechase Q and a Jumpers Q, Didn't want to do the teeter in Standard as usual though the teeter was the third obstacle.  I forget what happened on Snooker.

But tragically I found out that evening that my father died that day.  Fortunately I was not at the trial site but at a friend's house so I could fall apart there.  Then the choice was what to do. I had stuff at the site so I decided to go for the morning of the next day.

Fri Apr 29
Yoshi Herding
Been a while an he's not real into stopping of walking, so we did a lot of work in the small pen on a long line.  The long line slows him down so it's actually effective even when I'm not stepping on it.

Thu Apr 28
<sob> My dogs don't know the word "sit" without all the subtle physical cues I give them.
In the kitchen if I say Dogs sit or Trek sit or Yoshi sit or just sit, I get inconsistent results if I don't give a signal as well.

They did some mat work on the inside kitchen foot mat while I made my lunch which worked well.

They will sit mesmerized by me eating my lunch ignoring most everything else (even Yoshi).  Once I'm done, I'll give them a little (usually bread)

Yoshi dog walk.  So we worked "Yoshi, sit" to death and by the end of the walk he was much more consistent (over 80%).  Of course this is in the context of a walk which involves much sitting.  But most of his sitting is "By me" with a signal, so he doesn't necessarily know the word "sit."

Also say a GSD coming out of her house.  Given that the previous two strong dog reactions have been about a dog approaching.  I just kept walking and cheerfully said "Let's go" a couple of times when he noticed the dog.  This worked and we even stopped to wait for the dog to reappear again before continuing on.  Now a street width is no longer over threshold for him so we'll have to find other ways to work on this.

Trek walk and park training.
So we went over to the park and on the way over did a lot ot "Trek Sit" and the occasional "Trek Down" and she was over 80% on both.
In the park was even better and I was varying it a lot with Scenarios like
By Me (sit beside me)
I walk out
and the
 - ok and run and she catches me
 - Trek Front (obedience recall sitting in front of me)
 - Trek Down (she missed on this at first and then got it.)

Then we worked on moving stops
she would be walking with me and I'd say "Trek Sit" or "Trek Down" and keep moving.  First I had to hesitate till she understood the exercise then she was able to do it with me walking which is as far as I took it.

We then worked some on Stand and trying to get her to understand the spoke cue - still not working that well.

Then a little retrieve with the leash (didn't bring the toy) and a touch of tug.

Then we headed back and I have figured out that if I don't want her to drag me I should just say "Trek sit/down/stop" when she gets out too far in from.  Or Trek heel.  Anyway the walk better was nicer than yesterday.

Wed Apr 27
Yoshi noon dog walk
Inspired by Susan Garrett's version of does your dog know Sit? (she calls it something else), I've been asking for a lot of sits and downs of both dogs.  Yoshi can do 10 out of 10 sits and nearly that many downs.  He is very consistent unless something friightens him.  The he's a nut case, for a few minutes and then recovers.  No dog sightings today.

Did some outside mat work.

Trek isn't as consistent.  She may be over thinking things.  She can do it very well then wait a few moments and not understand things at all.
One her walk she decided to drag me back home which mean that getting the last 1/2 block took forever as whenever she hit the end of the leash I would stop until she figured out that she had to come back to me.

Did some inside mat work.

The Garrett video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5zCik-kZ3M&feature=player_embedded

Tue Apr 26
I weighed the dogs last night and Yoshi is overweight.
Yoshi 22.5 pounts (should be around 21)
Trek 23 pounds (correct)

Yoshi should be about 2 pounds lighter than Trek.  He's been getting less activity because Trek and I have been gone a few times and will again this weekend. 
I'll have to walk him longer at noon today, and he's coming tonight and he's going to do some of the obstacles.
And they've both been getting more training treats because of the class.

I've asked Terri to save 1/2 his breakfast kibble so I can use it as training treats, but that will start tomorrow.

Elf rescued for me two (!) entry certificates  that I'd won in the worker's raffle.  One is for Turlock and the other is Haute Dawgs.

There is an AKC TRACS trial over Memorial Day weekend that we can do one or tow days of. Too bad I didn't win that certificate - ah well.  Haute Dawgs I can use in October.

Yoshi noon walk.  Just to remind me that he has a ways to go when we were walking down the street just as we got out on our side walk there was a Border Collie coming towards us.  I didn't think too much of it since he usually doesn't react to BCs but this one was comig right at us and HIS house.  Even though we walked up my neighbor's driveway he was having a barking snarling fit.  I am resisting knocking his block off but I do force him to look away from the dog.  It's possible the best thing would have been for me to do a U-turn right there and let the dog walk behind us.  Or we could have crossed the street or gone back down my driveway.  I was just over-confident.

Then we followed the BC for 1/2 a block and then turned off.  Very soon after there was a young Vishla standing outside their house.  I apologizied because I hadn't seen then when Yoshi stiffened.  The owner told me there were just going to remain standing there so I had Yoshi heel on by.  He did look at the dog hard and I gave him a light pop twice which actually seemed to help keep his brain on track.  Save for seein that dog again (we crossed the street and watched them go by), there were no other incidents.

Trek has agility class tonight and Yoshi is going to be going and doing mat work and will do some obstacles.  I'm going to try to go early to get some time in before class as well.

OMG AKC Announced that 2012 Nationals are going to be in RENO!  So yes, definitely switching to mostly AKC, after Bayteam.

The bummer is that the deadline for qualifying is the end of November, so while it's not likely we would qualify by then unless we showed every weekend which we don't do, at least starting the process would be good.

Trek Agility Class.  She was moving very well and fast which was cool.  She was tough to keep up with some times.  Working on her stay - it still sucks but it's improving and it's not killing her drive now which is nice.  Her lateral lead outs are better but she doesn't understand my pointing to a tunnel on the other side of a dogwalk, so I have to block the dogwalk more.

The Tug-It is a hit with both dogs!  Took a while and then they each discovered that if they chompe on it more they got more food out of it.  Trek actually growled at Yoshi when he wandered up (which ended the game), but she never growls at him so she clearly likes it.

Yoshi would play with the Tug-It while other dogs were doing agility, though earlier he had one appalling screaming outburst at a small dog that Sharon ran by with in the parking lot (before we had gotten very far witht he Tug-It.  I didn't realize that she had gone to get a dog so I wasn't prepared for it and I just enveloped him and hung on to him while he thrashed.  It I hadn't of been sitting on the ground I would have just walked him away.

Mon Apr 25
Woke up this morning realizing that if Trek will do a teeter, then AKC is probably the best place for her since AKC rings are often just two rings.  If Trek is in the Standard ring then there is no one else doing a teeter.  This does compromise the Jumper's run but jumpers is her best class so she has a shot at working through it.

Yoshi backyard training and a walk.  2 of Sharon's games work well together in the back yard.  One that involves doing a lot of step left and step right and then running away and the dog catches you.  The other is an extension of the 1-2-3 game, where you hop up and down.  Yoshi does pretty well at both.  Probably about a third of the time a "game on" or bounce will get him to break his stay so he still has some work to do but he's better than Trek is.  Didn't see any close by dogs on his walk just one retreating.

Trek walk and training in the park which was surprisingly fun.  We mostly worked on obedience sits, downs, stays, recalls (emphasis on Front).  Also worked on holding the dumbell and walking a little with it.  Did heeling, finish left and finish right.  After finish right did a little bit of the "left about turns" (Shutzhund turns) where the dogs goes around you clockwise and you basically blind cross the dog by turning to the left.  Then we broke things up with playing fetch every so often.  Given that fetch with Trek doesn't take up much room we can do it on the left hand side of the front part of Lincoln park and not bother anyone.  I think I'm going to make a habit of it.

Sun Apr 24
- Sat Apr 23
SMART USDAA trial Prunedale
We took the Winter off from USDAA, because the Winter tirals are under covered areanas and they're too noisy for her.This trial was a mix.  Q-less, but she actually did two of three teeters.  She did both of the Standard ones but bailed on the snooker one later in the day. 

The issue now is much more other dogs doing the teeter in the other rings.  She's now isolating her fears more and has figured out that she can blame the other dogs (well that's my theory).  Almost as if she's saying "This would be a lot more fun if YOU all [meaning the Master's ring] weren't making so much noise."  As a result she didn't want to go anywhere near the Master's ring and did very poorly the one time she was in that ring I had to beg her through the course.(It was a Jumpers course.)

Worked in the morning
Steeplechase - in middle ring.  Begging her through the course
PI Standard - This was her best class.  The only reason she didn't Q was that I called her in mid jump and she dropped a bar.  The teeter was the second to last obstacle and she did it (!)
PII Snooker  - Did R-2-R-7-R-7, Got up to the #6 which is a teeter and she decided not to do it   I didn't push her this time since getting ahead of her just makes her leap off.
PII Gamblers - in the middle ring.  She wouldn't even leave the start line - poor kid.

Spent Sat evening at Elf's which was fun and really nice to sleep in a bed instead of the car.

We were one of the first dogs in two rings which made things a little exciting, but we were not the only ones in that position so we all made it work.  Fortunately one couse was a gamblers course in the Starters ring and the other was a PI Standard. in the middle ring.  The gamblers course went fine just got enough points for the opening and we actually would have gotten the gamble but she came out of the tunnel and came back to me and I had to redirect her but we ran out of time by 1/2 a second.  The standard course was in the middle ring and she ran it slowly and was miles over time.  Even stopped at the top of the A-Frame for a while and I had to beg her off.  She was also slow on the dog walk.  She got up on there and stopped.  This was right at the beginning of the course and the DW was rignt beside the Master's ring and I was concerned that she might try to jump off but I got her through it.  However, she did the teeter which I found surprising

I then let her crash in the crate in the car while I worked.  Doing gate for Starters and Advanced Pairs is a disproportionate amount of work for such small classes but it does have its entertainment and there isn't the pressure of the Master's people wanting everything just right.

Then got Trek out and fed her part of my chicken sandwich for teeter crashes.  She wasn't thrilled but was happy to eat.

She was cooked so I scratched her for the rest of the day and went home.

Fri Apr 22
Lori class - both dogs
Yoshi did great in the heeling part and Trek did the recall and other offleash parts.
Yoshi is definitely able to do the Corgi Specialty Rally.  Actually they're both ready and it depends on it I want to pay a $60 entry fee for both dogs.  My father is ill and I need to be traveling to see my parents a lot more and I want to be able to compete with the dogs and train them, but I have to come up with a balance.

Thu Apr 21
Yoshi noon walk.  I'm debating whether to enter him into the Corgi Rally trial.  Given that their will be no terriers there, I'm leaning towards yes.

Trek evening walk.  Went over to the park and worked on recall games.  Did a lot of chase me games.  Especially around a tree.  Also did some herding directional around the same tree - though I didn't run away from her then as I did want her to do the herding part of it.  There was a ball bouncing sort of nearby so she hesitated at first, then was fine.  Worked on front too and some obedience recalls.  Did some heeling on the way over and back on Lincoln had her sit in from of me and did a lot of "back."  Eventually she could mostly back in a straight line and not crooked.

Played wth the dogs in the kitchen.  In the presence of cheese Yoshi does not hear the word "down.:"

Wed Apr 20
Trey noon walk.    A little damp but fine.

Evening.  It was drizzling so I worked recalls with Yoshi in the yard.  I have lean treats and also some Dog Bone Alley chicken  The lean treats were fine, but the DBA ones were too slow for training.  I think out in the yard I'm going to bump the value up as while he was really enjoying working with me mostly on the 1-2-3 game and just some regular seated recalls, once in a while he would break off to bark at the fence though he'd come right back.. I didn't call him at all but let him choose to come back.  I think I was to make being with me worth ignoring the outside stimulous.

Trek was locked inside while I was training Yoshi with the recall games and she was thoroughly peeved.  I brought Yoshi in and we went into the living room to set up for some crate games and there was a mat on the ground (which hadn't been deliberately put down - I actually don't know why it was there.)  Since I hadn't started anything, Trek was also around and as soon as she saw the mat, she pointedly flopped down on it and started shouting at me (I do find this abuse amusing - Corgi girls are fun this way).  Then Yoshi downed on the very same mat, and I decided to take the hint and switch to doing mat work instead.  I got out another mat for Yoshi and go him over to it and managed to fake Trek out so I could get her off the mat (not easy), so I could move it to a better spot.  What's cool about mat work it that it's something that I can work on with both dogs as Yoshi does learn from Trek in this context.

I'm just glad that dogs don't seem to mind double standards   The criteria for Trek on a mat is much higher than Yoshi's is,  Trek has to be lying down completely on the mat.  Yoshi just has to be on the mat with me encouraging him to be laying on it. 

I did video some of it and will probably post it if there are any teachable moments in it.

I decided that it was an interesting example that doing mat or stay work you can work with two dogs at once, even though the dogs have different criteria.  They don't appear to mind the double standard.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jik4y3SMyFM

Tue Apr 19
Yoshi noon walk.  Saw two small dogs across the street and he was able to maintain a sit with effort and play LAT.
We also did some fun recall games in the backyard.  Lots of running into the place right beside me.  Some basic recalls also.

Trek did some too and her's was more along the lines of the 1-2-3 release and chase me down game.

Trek agility.  Sharon's lower field is done and it's very nice.
One fun little thing was that one jump was left at 16" and Trek gathered herself up (going at a slow speed as I was expecting her to skip it and jumped it beautifully.  Sharon was impressed.
Trek hesitated on the teeter, but I had her try it again without my pushing her and she did it fine for the rest of the evening.  I think for this weekend I'm going to have her try the teeter in gamblers (we usually avoid the teeter) and in that class we can just try it again if we like.  I'm not that anxious to go into master's gambler's yet anyway.
Her poles are fantastic.  Her stays are still rocky.  Distance great.  Other contact obstacles fine.  I still need to work on lateral leadouts.

The Tug-It is here and now I need to find a good treat for it.  Natural Balance would probably be good.  I tried dry treats but that only worked briefly.

Mon Apr 18
Just did dog walks to get back into the swing of things.

Watched about 1/3 of the crate games DVD.  SG prefers a sit in the crate, but I can't tell if my dogs are sitting when in their plastic crate, I may just go with a Down even though it's not as clear.  So far when I play crate games my criteria is just to stay in the crate and I don't worry about position.

Her criteria is more when the person approaches and reaches for the door, Sit.
Given that I get some minor doof charging from Yoshi having him Down would be a good thing.

Sun Apr 17
We're back.  Post to the recallees list:

I am back from my whirlwind drive to Seattle and back.
While there was a lot of it homebody Trek did not like, she coped and she really likes the fantastic smells in the Pacific Northwest though she still very much does not like the noise of travel. 

If a rest stop is noisy she doesn't want to come out of her crate.  She wouldn't come at at the Weed Rest Stop.  Rather than insisting, I just took her to the base of Mt. Shasta which is an area I know well and let her play in the snow.  It was one of those: "You want quiet.  I'll show you quiet."  So for the CU folks it was like the Give Me a Break game - sort of.

But when we got back on the road, went I pulled over again, I was out of Mt Shastas and I wanted to get home, so out of desperation I lured her out and started playing in and out Crate Games.  Then she was happy to come out.  Now it was less noisy at this particular location and she was willing to walk around some but the CG gave her something to focus on.  I think I need a name for the game so she knows that we're about to play.

Wed Apr 13
Rest of the drive to Seattle.  Shorter but lots of rain and definitely more hazardous, but we made it.  Trek and my dad are getting along really well and that is really nice.  I'm glad I brought her as she's a therapy dog to me and now we get to continue out Recallers class (which was the main reason for bringing her.)

Exercises today and yesterday were quick sits and downs (todays) and yesterdays was adding running away to hand touches.  Hand touch, hand touch, run and reward when dog gets to RZ.  Trek loves this one though we only did it indoors since it's wet outside.  Sits and downs.  She loves thunking on the ground, but is slow on sit  I' not supposed to reward the slow sit but I need her to understand the word better first.

Also worked in Crate Games which she loves.

Tue Apr 12
Trek and I are going to Seattle.  Today we went to Rosebud and stayed in a new motel 6 there.  I usually don't like M-6 but this one was fine and it had a great pet area.  Trek enjoyed playing fetch in it and did ok in the room though part of they through the night she spent on the floor.

Mon Apr 11
Walked Yoshi around the block.  He's more active now, but still seems a little tentative.  I should have Ziji take a look at him sometime.

Trek and I went on a much longer walk out all the way down Central to the water's edge.  The water is pretty scummy so I didn't let her touch it but she could sniff if all she liked.
On the way back we encoungter two noisy UPS trucks, which she handled well.  We also went down High Street and she did great on that didn't even see  stressed.  We also cut through the park and went pass ball bouncing - some stress there and then past a baseball practice with clanging bats and she handled that fine.

Todays exercise is about more self control - counting to three and releasing to get a tug toy, but first backchaining it from "threeee"  Haven't tried with Yoshi as we have plenty to work on.

With Yoshi I did 3 times of hide n seek which he found me each time (Trek crated).  Then we worked on Leave It.  He can do this with a treat on the floor successfully but the motion of a treat dropping still makes him first want to dive for it though he recovers when he realizes I want him to leave it.  Holding the treat for him to look away from isn't going to work because I've done a ton of touch my hand (open or closed fist so he's programmed to follow it and I like that.

Trek We got the rabbit fur tug toy and first tried the sit-run-tug game but we were in the living room which is a wood floor and she wasn't that thrilled with me running away from her.  So I got on my knees and we just played tug (which is pretty mellow as far as tug goes) for a while and then worked it to sit-move toy to arms length-"ok!" and then she happily charged after it.  Then I added "threeeeee - ok" and did that for 3 or 4 times successfully.  Tried adding twooo before threeeee but wasn't successful the first time.  was successful the 2nd time, but she was getting demotivated so went back to just threeee for a couple of times successfully and the quit.

Tomorrow is a review and a quiz.

Bonnie wrote out all the steps of crate games and put in in the recallees group area.  Cool have to wait till I get to work as I don't have a way to read Office 2007 stuff (".docx") here like I do at work.

Sun Apr 10
Sure enough two exercises were posted today.  I think an autoposter went off the rails and got restarted.  One is actually playing Crate Games and adding some medium level distrations, the other is a variation of hide n seek.

HNS went rocky to begin with but improved:

Post to our local "recallees" list

So how did Hide n Seek go for others today?

I discovered a lot of pitfalls that I didn't even know about
The kitchen trap was a first one, but the next one was my dogs never
even thinking about looking in the scary closet. I might as well been
invisible (and there's no door.)

Oh and making strange noises caused Trek to go back to Terri basically
saying "There's a monster out there, I'll stay here in the kitchen where
it's safe and comfortable." then once she figured out it was me she was
all for it. Yoshi was a little more intrigued, but got sucked into the
temptation of the front window which he likes to guard (even though he
rarely gets the opportunity to do so and he will actually recall away
from it.)


Ok Take two made a huge difference. What a fun game at least for
me-me-me Trek. Yoshi is more tentative, but intrigued. He almost does
better following Trek, but he'll probably gain confidence over time.

I do love it that a session (except for Crate Games) can take less than
5 min.

Did Crate Games with Yoshi twice today (did it with Trek once but she's pretty good at it already).  The first time he was all about wanting to charge out of the crate, but later in the evening I did a session with just kibble and just me and him in the room (no Trek to confuse things) and he did great.  I'll have to tape it sometime.  At first, I'm just tossing kibble into the top and then I add motion and not just walking across the room like I was doing before, but leaning backwards and backpeddling which is a huge draw for him.  It takes him effort to not come out of the crate, but he was able to do it.  I also dropped treats on the floor outside of the crate and if he stayed (this is less of a temptation than motion, but still definitely is a draw) I rewarded him with a different piece of kibble.  It almost works better to just play with kibble as he's still very much engaged, but his brain is not elsewhere because the treats are so yummy.

Created the "Recallees" mailing list so we can talk amongst ourselves (those I know who are taking the course) about the exercises.

Sat Apr 9
My cold is improving.  But Yoshi is injured from yesterday's fun of playing with Trek and doing the rabbit fur tug.  I think it's his midback.  When I lift him up he cries a little when I set him down.  I tried just lifting his front and he really cried then so knowing it was his mid-back I picked him up supporting his chest and butt but carefully kept his back straight and then he didn't cry (this was not all at once but periodically through the day.)  He will walk, but his right leg doesn't lift as quickly.  He will climb stairs but doesn't like to go down.  He's in his crate tonight and I've called Park Centre to see if I can get him some Rymadyl.  Tonight I gave him a baby aspirin which helped him some.

Trek went on a walk at noon and we cut through the park.  Lots of things going on and she said hi to a couple of kids.  There was a big kids baseball game going on and our path took us across the back field.  Given that it was entirely possible that someone could hit a ball that far, I waiting till a batter change and then we ran the distance and Trek happily ran right with me.

We worked on yesterday's exercise with no problem.  There isn't a new exercise today fortunately.

Fri Apr 8
I'll sick with a cold and did nothing of substance with either dog except to make a video of them playing rough and played some tug with Yoshi and his rabbit fur.  I like it because it shows Trek controlling things with calming signals.  A pause and then a shake which Yoshi reciprocates 

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMMCJX0ZJOA

Fortunately today's assignment was to do a 360 with the dog on your side in quarter turns.  This is a rally exercise that we do on walks from time to time so we have a fair bit of experience with it.

I also contacted the woman that I think made the rabbit fur tug that is wearing out as I want 10 of them.  Actually they're $7 so I'm getting 5.

Thu Apr 7
Noon: Just did training in the yard and will do walks later.
Got out the rabbit fur today and Yoshi very happily tugged on it and he did so until his interest started to flag and I rewarded him with a bit of food (hot dog).  Then his interest in the toy went poof.  I could get him to do it later but not with nearly the same intensity.  He really was tugging (and we were destroying the poor toy - need to find a sturdier rabbit fur one.)  The game was a tug-sit-(ok)-run-dog catches you and start the game again.  Did this about 4 times in one session.  then got Trek out and we played with one of the octopuses since she's too hard on the rabbit fur.  I do have some smaller rabbit fur tug toys and I'll try those.

They like the veggie hot dogs, but are slow to eat them (Yoshi that is, Trek chomps them though I do remember to tell her careful now)

Wed Apr 6
Today's game is another chase me game.  It's convoluted, but the gist is to tell them to get a lower value treat and then you run away and when they catch you they get a higher value treat or a toy.  You're supposed to do this inside, but the back door is such a draw for Yoshi that he wasn't that into running away from the door (down the hallway).  His attitude was: Where are you going?  Outside is THIS way.  So we did that 4 times and stopped.

Took Trek for a walk.  She met Bob the painter again and then we had to go by the scary whistle blowing crossing guard.  I didn't want to double back and go the other way so while a large pile of children were lining up to cross the street (they were on the other side of the street), we ran up and around the corner and got two houses down before the whistle blew.  i had already been feeding her when we stopped running.  Once the whistle blew I had mentally completely lost her so I just picked her up and carried her which seemed to help her and she stopped shaking so much.

Back at home.  With both dogs outside we did an informal chase me game.  Trek was Velcro,  Yoshi was pretty good too.  Much better than he had been inside. 

I still can't help but repeat Come.  Yoshi is such an ADD dog, but i have to at least try to not repeat.

Note to some CU folks also taking the course:

When the lessons are short, I can keep up, but it's when I see the deficits and holes in my training, then that is the time taker, However that's what's great about this course.  I have to stop kidding myself about something being ok.

Today's lesson should have been fun, but all Yoshi wanted was to go outside, so running up and down the hallway made no sense at all to him.  In the running away games,  Yoshi is clearly behind me and today I decided I wanted to find a way to change that.  The one thing that makes him completely light up and stop looking at the world/trees is whatever I'm eating.  Usually it's at lunch and if I have a sandwich or pizza I have his undivided attention. 

So after work, I went to the store and picked up some roast beef and a roll of bread and made a 2 in long "sandwich" with just roast beef in it.  Man oh man I'm never had his attention like I did by offering him bits of "my sandwich."  We did running games in the yard (more catch me that the push back type which confuses him).  I've never had his attention so well (He's never had roast beef because I don't eat it.)

And Trek, sweet little Trek?  Roast beef made her so crazy that she bit me.  No holes, but it hurt.  I actually bopped her on the nose for that.  Just for that her lesson was all about "Stay" (and "Careful" :).

The we slummed watched Survivor and and tried to find a toy that really holds their attention like it used to.

Forgot to mention that I think his tummy is upset as he seems really subdued now.

Tue Apr 5
Taking a look at: http://recallers.the5minuteformula.com/dashboard
Hand targeting.  Cool that's a life long skill for my dogs.  It's a great time killing game and a great way to lure a dog into a position.  My By Me cue starts with a hand target with my hand held behind me and then brought to my side. 

So given that Yoshi is going to work more on restrained recalls today.

Noon: actually we did work on some hand touches which was a lot of fun (both dogs).  10 treats each very minor distraction in the back yard.  Yoshi is more tentative than Trek but only to begin with, then he caught on and did great.  He missed once.  She got them all but with varying enthusiasm.  Treks were the Super Dog ones. Then with Yoshi did some running catch me games in the yard.  Didn't use a verbal for the hand target though we usually do.  We'll have to see how this backfires.  Probably going to break the Stay signal.  I know some people don't use Stay, but for herding it is very useful.

Trek walk (should have taken Yoshi - oops).  Met a house painter named Bob Neptune.  He mostly paints by himself which is what I prefer (rather than a crew).  He likes Trek which goes a long way to my hiring him ironically. 

Because of all of our training, her loose lead walking is way better.  She's often beside me pan handling.

Agility class - Trek working, Yoshi watching.
Yoshi got to play on the equipment for a little bit before class which he enjoyed.  I need to figure out how to let him do a tunnel on leash - maybe if I use a shorter one just clipped to his collar.

Trek did well in class, though her stays are still poor.  Needs more lateral work too and needs to work on what the lateral signals mean.  Like if my arm is extended out I want her to continue in a straight line lateral to me and not come closer (she's pretty good at this.)  I can also get lateral away from the dog walk while she's doing it which is really cool.

Yoshi and I then watched one round of the next class on a mat up on the hill.  He did fine except when one person arrived late and he predictably barked at her. ("Intruder!")
While he does great with eating treats on his mat he almost gets too amped up by them and settles down faster if I'm not feeding him.  Obviously we need to do a lot more of this now that the weather is improving.

Mon Apr 4
Trek noon walk fine.
Evening Yoshi walk.  Couple of dog sightings ok.
Today's exercise was a run away from your dog one where you pull them back by the collar and run the other direction.  Trek loved this Yoshi did ok but wasn't sure about it.  Yoshi didn't always catch me, Trek did 100% of the time  Did around 10 repetitions each.  After Yoshi's walk we did some restrained recalles outside in the yard during the late evening  We did 4 each direction and one time going to Terri he broke off to bark at the fence, but then came back to me on his own.  I am the stronger pull even though we both had the same treats and were behaving the same.  We did one more round after that and quit.  Treats were Polka Dog Bakery Super Dog Treats Wonder Nuggets Mighty Mutt (how many words can you use?).  They have beef liver in them (though mostly flour and oats) and a appear to be around a 4 out of 5 on the yummy scale (lettuce = 1, kibble = 2, pizza crust=5)

Also did dropping treat Leave It exercises for both dogs and they did great!  I was very happy with that.

So Yoshi is going to need a lot more work on restrained recalls and catch me games.

Sun Apr 3
Yoshi herding.  Started in the small pen and moved to a larger one.  He did really well and the sheep were mostly flocking.  He even had to chase down the black and white one a couple of times and then they stopped trying to get away.  We even tried him on goats again which totally felt like training wheels as the goats just follow me and then he will follow along behind.  If they look at him he freaks a little and starts giving them calming signals.  But as long as I was moving we could work on "flank" and "away" driectionals and "stop" and sometimes I find myself saying lie down to also mean stop.  He worries about going through the gate when the sheep are standing there as last time he nearly got run over.

Did restrained recalls out in the yard in the evening (no squirrels, but birds).  Used cheese.  He really enjoyed it which was really cool to see him being able to focus in the backyard.  He did 3 back and forths and I stopped it as he was doing so well and I wanted to leave it on a high note.  He very much wants to come to me.  Terri less so but he's (Trek too) learning that she gives good rewards too, but they look over their shoulder at me from time to time.

Sat Apr 2
Did restrained recalls in the living room with both dogs separately.  This effectively combined the last two lessons.
Dogs are enjoying it,  Yoshi is "Are you rreeeeady??" (rev him up), "Yoshi come" [he comes], collar grab, "yes," treat
Trek's is similar though I'm still tempted to make her recall "baddog" because you can not say it like she's in trouble "Trek come" can definitely communicate anger and sometimes she won't come if I'm stress or angry at her (usually for eating something she shouldn't.

Made a Leave It video with Trek.  The first (non-filmed) leaving it sessions she was just mad to get the treats but got it so decided to make a video of the next session and here it is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZGBNEx6XxI
It's my first attempt at a more complete video and I even signed it with

Clary Canine Consultants
Trainer to Trainer Consulting

(I've decided that I like the train trainers role as I don't have a lot of patience with John Q. Public.)

After the missive of: if you need help consult with a local dog trainer who uses positive training methods.

Fri Apr 1
I'm supposed to be doing hallway recalls which should be entertaining.  I have to decide if I want a different recall word.  i don't know - they're all sort of broken, but I'm pretty sure I can unbreak them too.

Yoshi herding.  Been rained out for a while so back to the smaller pen.  Doing a lot of work on Stop and Out.  He's getting better at Stop.  Out is hard in the small pen.  We did a little bit in the larger pen but the sheep weren't flocking (distracted by the sheep in the next pen) and he couldn't keep them together so we took them back to the smaller pen.

The game presented in class today was too basic so instead we did more crates games (incorporating a recall out of the crate and sending [Yoshi] back into it.  Then did more advanced Leave It by moving the treats onto the floor.  First I put my fist on the floor doing the opening closing thing, then I put a few treats on the floor and have my hand over it - first closed fingers then with spread fingers.  When doggie backs off I raise my hand some.  When they can leave the treats alone I give them a treat (sometimes higher value) from the other hand.  Yoshi worked up to being able to do this with breadsticks and then even cheese.  Chowhound Trek only managed kibble on the floor with breadstcks or cheese as a reward.

I then demo'd it for Terri.  When Yoshi was doing cheese, Trek was pulling Terri (seated in a rolling chair) across the floor.  Trek has a ways to go, there's less at stake with Trek getting good at it, so I'm more amused than concerned.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2011
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2010
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